Interview with Torture (Tom Hicks)

Tourture is not a new band. Tell us all you think is important to know about the band’s history.

You’re right…Torture is not a new band but we have reformed with new members. We originally got together 1986, put out our Terror Kingdom EP in 1987 on a Mexican label then signed with a Europena label, Metalcore, for our 1989 version of Storm Alert.

15 years in the making is your debut CD motto. Why did it take that long, and what’s the story behind it?

Thrash was on the downslide fast so we kinda faded fast as our last concert was in 1991 with Sepultura. Storm Alert was released only in Europe but received excellent reviews 🙂 We played several shows prior in El Paso, our then hometown, with Dark Angel, Death Angel, Death, Flotsam and Jetsam, etc… and played a few shows in Mexico. The nineties were for the rising death metal and black metal in the underground. I began looking for our master tapes at the orginal studio we recorded at (Village Productions then…Sonic Ranch now). Just wanted to have them for keepsake. Funny enough, the studio thought I had them.

There are big names involved in the CD recording process. Who are they, why did you choose them and how did your contact begin?

I find out that Neil Kernon recently had been working at Sonic Ranch with bands like Nevermore. WHAT?? After going back and forth, the studio finally found the master tapes! I figured this was my opportunity to remix the Storm Alert with one of my favorite producers. I could rework the songs and get them sounding like I thought they should. I spoke with Neil and he, thankfully, agreed to accept the challenge. It took a few years for us to get together and the remix, initially, was intended to be a personal project only…not to be re-released. I mean, who would ever think that would happen?? Neil was kind enough to shop it to labels when we were finished and we wound up with a few offers! The guys/labels who were interested were mostly those who owned the original version of Storm Alert. ’15 years in the making’ is something our friend came up with a few weeks ago. Seems a little extreme! We weren’t even together for 13 of those years 🙂 I’m not sure how relevant it really is but our fans are great. Storm Alert sounds so much better now. Neil Kernon has become a great friend!

Your sound is pretty much like the SF Bay Area Thrash Metal bands from the eighties. Is that your main influence? What else has influenced you?

Our sound is influenced heavily by early Metallica and Slayer but especially European thrash (early Destruction, Kreator, Artillery, etc) We also consider bands like Dark Angel, Metal Church, Armored Saint, Infernal Majesty and Loudness as influences. Those were bands we listened to all the time.

Are you doing a tour to support the CD?

No plans from our label, Escapi Music for a tour yet but, most likely, some metal festivals at first.

What are your thoughts on file sharing and P2P networks?

File sharing and P2P networks? It’s all good to me as long as Torture is out there.


  • Alex Reis

    Alex is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, born and raised in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, yet living in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2010. AC/DC was his first intro to Rock and Metal, but Metallica and Iron Maiden were the turning point for his love of the genre. Alex has played the guitar since he was 14, and has been an aspiring musician ever since.  Also serving as lead guitarist and vocalist for Belgian/Brazilian Hard Rock outfit SSC, Alex and co. have released a single a few years ago, but are yet to follow with a full-length  release that's been 20 years in the works. When Alex is not writing for MER or making music, he works at the Belgian tech scene, having served as CTO and other technical roles in numerous startups and organizations.

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